Comment from Gwen: Hi, Jane! People have suggested I take a series of assessment tests to find my aptitudes and interests. It seems like a good idea — for someone under 50, but shouldn't I already know? What do you think?
Russell: Assessments are good at any age. It helps organize your thoughts around what you're good at, what you like to do and the skills that you bring to those areas. Particularly for those who are looking to transition into new employment opportunities, this opens up your thinking around what's next! Go for it! Give it a try! I think you'll find it helpful.
Comment from Elizabeth Craig: Hi, Gwen. Most over 50 haven't ever experienced the excellent assessments available today! Like Deborah has said I encourage you to give them a try! People find assessments to be a very useful start and then move with that information to "career research interviews" with people actually in the positions they are interested in.
Comment from Dr. Debra Weiss: You could start by volunteering at a place you might want to work. Connections are important.
Hanson: Hi, Debra. I think that our journey of "storytelling with our bodies" (i.e., dance/theater) is the beginning of a natural transition to understand how our bodies work, and thus how we can keep them working better longer. That was certainly part of my journey — and like you, it involved many facets: looking at massage, at yoga, nutrition — and still include those items/topics in my practice. Our bodies and our health are indeed our greatest assets.
Comment from Elizabeth Craig: Hi, Ben. Tripp's comment — "Put your periscope up and look around! Pay attention! It won't happen when you are looking for it!" — was also great advice in addition to the excellent advice Deborah has provided!
Comment from Robert: I have a son who is heading to college this fall. He plans on declaring a theater major, although he will minor in graphic design as a backup option. How realistic is it for him to have a successful career as a Broadway actor, and is a theater career something he can quickly shift out of to launch his design career? I’m just afraid that the theater life will be all-consuming and that he won’t have the time necessary to stay sharp on his graphics skills, or realize that it’s the right time to make the transition.
Pauley: Robert, have we met? I know a young man who sounds like your son, who by his 30s, was no longer active in theater. But the combination of theater and graphic design seems to have been foundational for a happy career (wish I could say specifically what he’s doing now), but the point I would make is that this is true for both our children and ourselves.
It seems if you prepare, then appropriate opportunities appear — and I don’t mean that in some spooky way. I just mean that as you go through life your antennae are aware of opportunities that suit your training. I certainly sympathize with your anxiety and can’t help but remember my poor father wondering how Janie’s poli-sci degree was ever going to produce a paycheck.